College football will unveil its new playoff system this season, with four heavyweight programs getting a shot to play for the national title. There’s just one problem.
There are five major conferences.
“It’s a four-team playoff, (and) simple math will tell you there are five major conferences,” CBSSports.com college football columnist Dennis Dodd said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Best-case scenario, one of those conference champions is going to be left out every year. What are the ramifications going to be of that? With two teams, it was, ‘Well, the BCS is bad.’ Well, what’s it going to be (if) the human selection committee leaves the SEC champion out two straight years? And that could happen. Or if the SEC gets two teams in the four, that means only three of the conferences get teams in.”
“And what does it mean for those teams below the Mendoza Line?” Dodd continued. “The MAC, Conference USA, the Sun Belt – they’re barely sniffing it. Those 55 teams get to compete for one golden ticket. The best of those gets one of those bowls, and what are the odds of them getting into the top four? Personally, none. TCU was the only (non-BCS) team in the history of the 16-year BCS to finish in the top four – and that was in 2009-10. They’re in the Big 12 now. The chances of them getting in the top four are virtually nil.”
Scott Ferrall, for one, didn’t mind the BCS. There were great games every week, and there was a reason to care about every game every week. Looking back, why were so many people opposed to it?
“I think part of it (was) people didn’t understand it,” Dodd said. “Heck, I didn’t understand the whole thing sometimes. But within those 16 years, (the BCS) helped grow the sport tremendously. It grew to an unprecedented stature in the American sports landscape. College football is the No. 2 sport behind the NFL in terms of viewership, interest, ticket sales – everything else. I think what the BCS did was it made you care from noon Saturday to midnight Saturday. There were always games that meant something. The BCS standings didn’t start until October, (and) then you had to watch all those games. What about the West Coast games? What are they going to do? (Caring about what everyone did) really wasn’t the case before.”
The four-team college football playoff will be the law of the land until at least the 2025 season, which is right around the time other changes could potentially send shockwaves through college football – and college sports in general.
“People ask me when these power-five schools are going to break away, and I think it’s going to happen,” Dodd said. “I think it’s going to be after these current media deals expire. They all expire in about the middle of the next decade – about 2025. They may go walk off and do their own thing (and) form their own division. That would be the end of the NCAA, by the way.”